No, really. Try the blue pill.
About 4 years ago, pundits were talking about the mainstream centrist candidacy of Rudolph Giuliani and the possibility of a New York Senate rematch of him and Hillary Clinton in 2008. The Republican primary voters were considering ritual suicide. Giuliani never went up against Clinton. He dropped out before the election, for reasons other than personal. He was the GOP frontrunner only in the minds of the media.
The real Republican primary race was fought by Romney, who was deemed the conservative by the same media that recently had to give up on Giuliani. Then there was Mike Huckabee, the real conservative and there was John McCain. He was inoffensive, a solid Republican with campaign experience and he wasn’t Mitt Romney. Besides, by Super Tuesday it looked like he’d be running against Hillary Clinton.
John McCain wasn’t a moderate, but he had a history of working with the other side when it was necessary to be the grown up. He supported the War on Terror, but he had fundamental disagreements with Bush 43. McCain was also likely to pick Joe Lieberman as his running mate. In some ways, this could make for good general election material.
The key was Hillary Clinton. The more conservative a Republican is, the more excited he is about voting for whoever is not her. His unofficial slogan could have been “John McCain, at least he’s not Hillary.” I am of the opinion that with McCain’s centrist appeal, his superior experience and the anger of Republicans, he could have made it to victory in 2008.
Either Obama’s people, Mitt Romney’s people, the media or a combination of the three have narrowed the field in 2011. Herman Cain couldn’t be allowed to continue. Michele Bachmann is supposedly crazy and Rick Perry most likely is a good-looking moron. We’re left with 30% Romney, 5% Ron Paul and Newt Gingrich.
Primary voters now feel the impending doom of a second Obama term. Palin bowed out, Cain was forced out and others took themselves out. Romney represents everything they hate. Weakness prevails. Now, people want a warrior. They want someone who managed to win Congress for Republicans and impeach a president. This isn’t about better ideas, it’s about scorched earth. For Republicans, it’s time to “cry havoc and let slip the dogs of war.” Newt is that dog.
Filed under: 2012 GOP Primary, Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Republican Party | 9 Comments »